Beauty = Integrity

When I began reading The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights, I expected fantasy and adventure. I did not expect frequent and serious discussions, often thought-provoking. Here is a scene in which Lancelot, discovered napping under a tree, is captured by four sorceress-queens who are bored of their wealth and power and want to play a game, in which they bid for Lancelot’s favor to see who can offer the most seductive gifts.

“Are we not beautiful?”
“I do not know, my lady.”
“That is ridiculous. Of course you know. There are no more beautiful women in the world or any half so beautiful, we’ve seen to that.”
“I guess that’s what I mean. You chose your faces and your bodies, didn’t you, and by your arts created them.”
“What of that? They are perfect.”
“I don’t know what you started with. I don’t know what you are. You can change appearance, I believe.”
“Of course we can. What difference does that make? Surely you aren’t such a fool as to think Guinevere as beautiful as we?”
“But you see, ladies, Guinevere has the face and body and soul of Guinevere. It’s all there and always has been. Guinevere is Guinevere. One can love Guinevere knowing what he loves.”
“Or hate her,” Morgan said.
“Or hate her, my lady. But your faces are not you. They are only pictures you have drawn of what you would like to be. A face, a body, grows and suffers with its posessor. It has the scars and ravages of pain and defeat, but also it has the shining of courage and love. And to me, at least, beauty is a continuation of all of those.”

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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1 Response to Beauty = Integrity

  1. What a surprise to find such a thoughtful discussion amid the stories of King Arthur.

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